Worker’s Compensation For Depression & PTSD
People generally think that getting physically injured is the only way to get workers’ compensation benefits but compensation may be obtained for psychological ailments such as depression and PTSD as well. Workers’ compensation covers work-related injuries including mental injuries such as depression and anxiety. Workers that legitimately suffer from depression due to work related issues may be able to claim that their employment caused their depressive state or possibly aggravated a pre-existing mental ailment. However, it is never an easy task for workers to explain their depression in order to receive worker’s comp. In order to bring a Fresno work comp attorney for claim for depression it is important to remember the following legal points:
It is Possible To Obtain Benefits For Work Related Depression
Although in the past, if workers were faced with anxiety or depression due to work they were given the customary cold shoulder and told to cheer up. However, modern medicine and psychology recognizes depression as a mental ailment that has real physical and mental consequences that should never be ignored or belittled. The consequences of mental depression are just as serious as a broken bone or nerve damage. The law recognizes this fact and allows workers suffering from depression to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits when their depression is caused or aggravated by work-related activity.
Physical Injuries Often Lead To Depression
People who have sustained physical injuries often suffer from depression. This condition can aggravate into chronic depression that lasts well after the physical injuries have been healed. People suffering from such a condition may continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits even after their physical injuries have healed.
Medical And Legal Causation Must Be Proven
In cases where the worker suffering from depression does not have any physical injuries they must be able to prove in court that their condition is due to work related activity. Proving this in a worker’ compensation claim has two aspects. They are
Medical Aspect: A worker suffering from depression must prove through a doctor and psychiatrist’s evaluation that their condition has been caused or aggravated by work events
Legal Aspect: A worker suffering from depression must meet the burden of proof as determined by their state showing that work was the legal cause of their depression.
Obtaining Benefits For Work Related PTSD
A large number of the American workforce suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. In many of these cases, workers compensation lawyer Fresno can provide benefits for their condition. However it is essential that their PTSD must be work related. Workers’ compensation claims relating to PTSD generally fall into two categories:
- PTSD brought on by a traumatic experience in the scope of employment
- PTSD brought on by out-of-work trauma triggered by circumstances at work.
The former type is somewhat easier to prove as trauma while on the job is acknowledged by experts to be the direct cause of physical and mental symptoms associated with PTSD. However it is important to remember that in order to obtain workers’ compensation or get disability benefits, the injuries or condition must be work related. Therefore you must be able to prove a sufficient legal link between your PTSD symptoms and work conditions. There is a different burden of proof in each state. The majority of states allow benefits is when work is a major contributing cause or substantial contributing cause towards depression or PTSD, other states allow benefits when work is a material contributing factor to these conditions. As worker’s compensation laws are highly complex it is best to contact an experienced and competent worker’ compensation attorney to figure out the best way to claim benefits for depression.